Most people who know me know that I’m a perpetual do-it-yourselfer. My favorite channel is HGTV. I love Project Runway because I love watching the designers make the clothes. If there’s something to be done I want to figure out how I can do it myself. Sometimes it’s to save money, other times it’s to learn something new. I’ve done so many things from refinishing wood floors to making wedding invitations to building computers from scratch.

So you can imagine my disposition when it comes to getting a facial at a spa. Come on now, a facial? I’m sure I can figure this out. I just gotta find out what they do and do it myself. I have all kinds of facial masks, lotions, scrubs, etc in my arsenal of facial. I’ve tried so many different products, but have never found the right ones to give me the balance my skin needs.

One day I ran into this woman who I had known for a few years. She always had okay skin. I wouldn’t ever say it was bad skin, but it wasn’t great. But this time her skin looked great. I had to find out what she was doing so I could get on it. So I asked her what she had been doing. I was expecting her to say something like she went to the dermatologist and got some medication or some surgery or something, because her skin was dramatically better.

She told me about her daily routine of washing nightly and daily, toner, creams and etc. But the thing she said that has made the difference is getting regular facials. She had always washed her face daily and nightly or else she would have really bad skin, but the only real difference is the regular facials. At first she went every 2 to 4 weeks, but once her skin improved she cut down to going every other month.

I thought about it for months and then decided I would try it. What did I have to lose? I’ve already wasted hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on other useless products. This will, at the very least, be a learning experience. So, being the extensive researcher, I researched different spas in my area. I worry about exposing my skin to chemicals so I narrowed my search to spas that offered organic and all-natural treatments. Once I settled on a spa, I made my appointment and went in.

When I got into the spa it looked like a little mom and pop beauty shop. It was homey, cozy and intimate. I felt right at home, but was wondering where the rooms were. A woman took my coat and then led me upstairs to where the rooms were. The stairwell was lit by candles, peaceful music was playing and a wonderfully calming aroma surrounded us. When I got into my room I was asked to get comfortable and remove my top because my neck and shoulders would be involved in the treatment.

When the esthetician came in we discussed the issues and concerns I had with my skin. She gave me some options and pointers and we decided on the best treatment. I can’t remember exactly what she did because there was so much. There were some masks, lotions and massages involved that all felt great. She also squeezed dirt and oil from my pores.

Now, I’m the type of person that doesn’t really notice changes unless they are dramatic. My esthetician did half of my face and allowed me to feel and see the difference. It was subtle, but there was definitely a difference. If she hadn’t shown me the difference, I probably would have resolved to never go again because I wouldn’t have seen the difference.

It’s been about 2 weeks since I had the facial. My skin has this more vibrant glow to it. But the biggest difference I’ve seen is the the dramatic reduction of my acne. I normally have at least one pimple either coming or going, but in the last two weeks I haven’t had a single pimple. My fellow acne sufferers know how big of a deal that is. My esthetician recommended that I come back every two to three weeks for maximum results. I’m definitely going to go back, but every two to three weeks is a bit much. I’m going to plan for once a month and I’ll keep you updated with my progress.

Now I’m sure the number one question on your mind is money. How much does a facial cost? Well, facials aren’t cheap, but you can still get some good deals. What you can do is look out for discounts, and with our current economy spas are eager to give discounts to keep people coming through the door. One really great resource is Spa Week ( Spa Week is a week where spas band together to offer services at a deeply discounted rates to introduce people to their services. Another option for discounts is Groupon ( Groupon offers many different discounts on services including restaurants other activities. There are often great deals on spa services so it’s definitely worth checking out.

Facials are great and I’d encourage everyone (even the men) to experience at least one. It’s a great experience to at least try. You can afford it. A facial is cheaper that Nike Air Jordans. If you do decide to go, make sure you examine your self, before and after, so that you can really see the difference. I recommend taking pictures; closeups to really capture the difference. Also make sure you research and ask around for recommendations. You don’t want to waste your money. When you do decide to have your first facial, I’m sure it’ll open a whole new world of skin care for you just as it has for me.

Until next time, cheers to a better you.

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